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Where Are The Marshmallows?

I wonder how many things I disregard because they lay just beneath the surface. I consider myself to be pretty observant, but obligations and commitments necessitate quick actions at times.

I ate lunch with a friend yesterday who is pushing me in new ways. Last summer we met at Antioch Writer’s Workshop, a weeklong intensive experience where we shared and critiqued work and talked about our goals over endless cups of coffee.

During the opening cocktail hour of the workshop, one of the event facilitators mentioned the magic that happened every year at Antioch. After the first full day of programming, I remember thinking, “Lady you better hurry up and get your little wand tuned because I just paid $750 to be here, and I can think of at least 14 other things I’d rather spend my money on right now.”

Then I let go of the expectations that I didn’t realize even existed, mainly because I couldn’t get my money back at that point, and I didn’t want to make an ass of myself by complaining to the organizers – at least at the beginning of the conference when everyone around me seemed to visualize long rounds of “Kum Bay Ya” sitting around the campfire.

Once I opened my…what – heart, soul, mind or maybe all three, it filled to the brim. I allowed myself to see beneath what I thought I wanted and expected, and I tapped into a vulnerable state that brought a deeper awareness of what I really needed. Was I ready bring the marshmallows and lead the song?

I walked away with a couple budding friendships. John, if you are reading, this is where I out you. You are now officially part of the blogosphere – there’s no going back now, brother.

On the surface, John and I are very different. He is a little formal and reserved. He is very well educated and speaks eloquently with an academic flair. At different times in my life, people with very similar characteristics took root in my inner posse, which is a bit enigmatic given that I may be a lot of things, some not suitable for print perhaps, but it is safe to say that formal and reserved wouldn’t reside anywhere on my attribute list. I think I’m pretty much the same sarcastic, intuitive, funny and edgy person that people first meet compared to when they know me for a while, but just at a lower volume.

When we remain open and aware, I believe we are drawn to those whom we need in our lives on some level. I think I probably bring a humorous and no nonsense level of candor to the table, and I challenge people (aka. blow them shit) to dig deeper. During the banter, I see bits of me that I need to develop, and that helps me move forward as well.

This is the place where I want to be and it is exactly where I’ve been avoiding. I wonder if there is a way to take residence here for extended periods of time. How do I live in that space and still meet my other obligations? What is the balance?

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